he works here as a master with his apprentice craftsmen. a whole generation of florentine artists-- ghiberti, brunelleschi, donatello-- began work in studios not unlike this, working on just such meticulous and minute creations before moving on in their careers to their monumental works of art. in an environment where the craftsman's skill so is highly prized, it was inevitable that their status should rise. inevitable, too, that the most brilliant of them-- men like brunelleschi and donatello-- should resent the restrictions which the craft guilds could place on them and the implication that their work was menial, a mechanical craft. and so, increasingly during this century, such artists came to see themselves as the equals of their patrons-- no longer humble, anonymous craftsmen, but self-confident, ambitious, intellectual practitioners of the liberal arts, famous beyond their own city.